Deception can involve being tricked by others, or tricking one's self. In Card's novel, trickery and false promises are parts of both games and deadly conflicts. Discuss the ways that deception is figured in the novel.
Deception-the act of deceiving; state of being deceived; artifice practiced; fraud; double-dealing; to mislead the mind of; to impose on; to delude; fraud; guile; cunning (Webster Dictionary). Deception is universal and serves many purposes. Deception can be used to hurt or protect, depending on the motives of the deceptor. In Orson Scott Card's novel, Ender's Game, deception plays many roles. The main use of deception is the adults versus the children. Early on in the novel it is indicated that Ender already realizes adults lie when the subject of the monitor being removed is discussed. The adults are also deceptive when they remove the monitor and allow Ender to think he was not accepted into the program when in fact they just wanted to see how he would behave without the monitor.
Most of the children know about the web of deceit and the manipulation, including Ender who works around it because of his own beliefs of his own purpose. Although he is needed in the mission to save the world, from Ender's point of view he needs to do this for Valentine. Or is he just tricking himself into thinking this? Ender realizes there is deceit by the IF and teachers. They deceived Ender into thinking that Valentine's letter was sincerely written by her. Ender realizes that he is being deceived and manipulated, his thoughts were, "It isn't the real thing because they made her write it. She's written before and they didn't let any of those letters through. Those might have been real, but this was asked for, this was part of their manipulation" (Card 150-1). Ender's realization of the deceit by the teachers changes his actions and reactions at the Battle School. Although Ender has already drawn conclusions about the deceit towards him, Dink Meeker plants a seed in Ender's head about what he thinks the battle school's about and what he thinks the teachers are doing. At this point, Ender starts seeing another side to things; and even though Ender realizes and admits to himself what the teachers are doing and that he is being manipulated and tricked, he still continues onward.
The IF and teachers graduated Ender on to Commander School. Before he actually goes to Commander School, he spends three months on Earth, during which he decides he doesn't want to continue going to school. Graff decides to use Valentine to manipulate him into going back to school. "We meant his leave to last only a few days. But you see he doesn't seem interested in going on with his education. Oh so I'm therapy again" (Card 233).
Valentine does go to see Ender. "For she had, after all, done just what they wanted. She had talked Ender into going back into his training and he wouldn't soon forgive...